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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Democratic attorney general race to be nasty, vicious and awkward

Rob Teilhet, Ken Hodges face off
  • Rob Teilhet, Ken Hodges face off
Of the 1,497,372 races voters will decide one week from today, one of the most interesting is the Democratic primary for state attorney general between state Rep. Rob Teilhet of Smyrna and Ken Hodges, a former Dougherty County district attorney. (Incumbent Thurbert Baker is vacating the post to run for governor.)

In one corner you've got Teilhet, a level-headed, charismatic young lawmaker who's built a reputation as one of the Democratic Party's up and comers. We awarded Teilhet with a Golden Sleaze Award this year for pander-tastic legislation. (Teilhet proposed requiring sex offenders to post signs outside their homes on Halloween and a DNA database for people arrested for felonies, a clear violation of someone's due process.)

Hodges is a veteran prosecutor now in private practice who's got a lot of friends. (His endorsement list reads like a Who's Who of Georgia Democratic politics.) He's also got one of the most cutthroat campaigns we've ever seen for a race that's (unfortunately) often overlooked. Hodges has been linked to the Phoebe Putney Hospital scandal that was the focus of the documentary film Do No Harm. (Jim Galloway did an excellent job last year discussing Hodges' involvement in the controversy.) And there's that Kenneth Walker case — and recent related TV ad — that many political observers say could sink his campaign.

Normally these contests — especially in the primary battle — would be fairly civil affairs. Considering there are only two candidates in the race — ruling out any possibility of a runoff — Teilhet and Hodges have ignored Democratic Party of Georgia Chair Jane Kidd's request for civility. These dudes are slugging it out because whoever wins gets their name on the November ballot.

Last week, the Kenneth Walker TV ad hit airwaves and caused a collective gasp through political circles. On Sunday, the two candidates sparred in what was the most heated primary debate I've ever watched. (Before the live contest was over, reporters were receiving emails combating Teilhet's accusations.) And yesterday, Hodges released a TV commercial that accuses Teilhet of paying lobbyists with taxpayer money — and includes a mention of our Golden Sleaze Award for his pandering legislation.

After the jump, the most recent videos in this race, including something bizarre we found on YouTube. We're waiting for video footage of the Atlanta Press Club Debate to be uploaded.

Last Minute

Prosecutor vs. Politician

And WTF is this?

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